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Gaston boys' offense sputters early

Hounds shoot just 25 percent from the floor in two early-season setbacks

Gaston's high-octane offense isn't exactly firing on all cylinders to open the 2006-07 season.

Under head coach Larry King, Gaston's goal each game is to jack up 80 shots, half of which should come from behind the 3-point arc. The Greyhounds are hitting their mark in terms of total shots, but have clanged three-quarters of them en route to a pair of lopsided losses.

Gaston shot just 22 percent (21 for 97) last Thursday in a 94-59 loss to Chemawa, then improved that number ever so slightly to 28 percent (22 for 78) in a 91-59 loss to East Linn Christian on Friday.

'At least we're consistent,' joked King after the two losses.

Against Chemawa, Gaston's run-and-gun offense backfired, as the Hounds made just five of 47 shots from 3-point range. Chemawa, meanwhile, would crash the boards with four players and have the other man release downcourt for a slew of easy baskets.

'That's the first time we've ever played a team that's done that to us,' said King. 'It was the first game of the season, so it's not like they scouted us. I guess that's just what they do.'

Chemawa was led by 6-foot-1 senior Galen Northrup, who dumped in 18 points.

Gaston, which trailed by seven points after the first quarter and 14 at halftime, got 25 points and 15 rebounds from senior Cody Fassold. Parker Bolden added nine points and Joel Fordyce chipped in eight.

On Friday, Gaston dug itself a 16-point first-quarter deficit and never recovered. East Linn surged ahead 54-28 by halftime and cruised to a 32-point win.

'We actually played a little better,' said King. 'The kids are finally figuring out how hard they have to play on the press to force some turnovers. I think we're starting to figure it out a little bit.'

Bolden led the way for Gaston with 19 points, including four trifectas. Fordyce had 18 and Fassold added 12 more. East Linn got 38 combined points from brothers Michael and Kyle Kruesi.

Gaston, which presses relentlessly and subs in waves, is struggling with just 10 players on its varsity roster this year, but King knows a turnaround is just a matter of playing better on the defensive end of the court.

The Greyhounds host Blanchett on Friday night. Look for a complete recap and photos after the game on the News-Times' web site at www.fgnewstimes.com.